Rugby: M1, Inside Pass/Pop, Back

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Wes, Rugby Coach


Keep your player briefing, brief! It's important to get your players working as quickly as possible.

  • Lets get the ball and the players moving with lateral passing through the hands.
  • Each training area only needs one ball, and that ball should be any of the two players at the outer most cones.
  • Tell players to move forward, passing the ball down the line. When the ball gets to the last receiver, that player will pass it to the first receiver in the next line. That player should be waiting to go.
  • Players should advance right away, they don't need to wait for your call.
  • Allow the players to move the ball down the lines, just to get them used to handling the ball within the L.
  • When you feel the players are comfortable, tell the players that the first ball carrier will miss pass the ball to the third player in the line, who will miss pass to the last player in the line, who will give an inside ball to the forth player in the line, who will then pass the ball to the second player in the line.
  • When each line has completed the above pattern, they should give the ball to the next attacking line. The last pass to the next attacking line will be a long pass and should be completed correctly within the laws of the game.
  • Allow the players to discover, though questioning, the best possible way of executing the M1 while maintaining or creating depth in advance of changing the pattern of attack.
  • Players should change position in the line after each run.


Don't feel that you have to focus on all of the following coaching points, you may have your own. Select the points that most closely match your overall training and session goals.

  • Keep the tempo of this exercise high, but only after the players have been able to succeed at a lower tempo. There is no point in moving fast and hindering player development.
  • Players need to focus on getting passing form right.
  • Good communication is vital to define roles, position, expectations, direction of the pass, the type of the pass, the timing of the pass etc.
  • Communication should be efficient, effective, and encouraging.
  • Mistakes will happen, while we work to minimize mistakes - don't over focus on them! If you do, your players may well magnify their own mistakes. What's important is the next pass, the next catch! You as a coach have to give the players the freedom to make mistakes, you also have the responsibility for helping players adjust their passing style and decision making etc. to minimize the possibility that the pass will not go astray.
  • Passes need to be weighted correctly in terms of speed, distance, and accuracy.
  • Receivers have their hands out, saving time and presenting a target.
  • Receivers catch the ball at a point, which minimizes any maneuvering they might have to do in order to have the ball at the best possible passing position in hand.
  • Players do not spin the ball when there is no need.
  • A pass is only a good pass when it has been completed, and it is only a completed pass when the receiver catches the ball.
  • Players pop, inviting runners onto the ball at pace.
  • Players move onto passes at pace.
  • The ball should be caught in both hands, at a position that is best suited to move the ball on quickly.
  • Set targets for your payers, but make sure that targets can be achieved. It is vitally important that players experience success and feel a sense of achievement at every session.
  • This is a different type of M1, it is with the intention of changing the point of attack, quickly. The next player in the line holds back. (however - a player could advance beyond the ball and then retreat - experiment).
  • Provide your players with a decision making framework with respect to using this type of M1.
  • Have fun!
  • You can progress this exercise by introducing defenders with varying levels of pressure. I recommend that you allow your players to experience success. Passing the ball is a weapon in our attack. Like all weapons - if used correctly, at the right time, and in the right place - it can very much be part of a very potent attacking formula which allow moves to be created based on what players see.



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